Serial Killer BTK Suspected in Unsolved Oklahoma Cases, Daughter Aids Investigation


In Northeast Oklahoma, a law enforcement team is pointing to the notorious serial killer, affectionately named “BTK” as the culprit behind a string of unresolved missing person and homicide cases. Turning to the public for assistance, they are hoping to single out barns and silos across Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri; places which the infamous BTK killer, Dennis Rader, had sketched in immaculate detail.

Benefiting from a tip-off by the Osage County Sheriff last month, Rader became the prime suspect behind a 1976 cold case in their jurisdiction. This began the unraveling of his possible involvement in many other unsolved crimes spanning three states.

Investigators are starting to suspect that Rader may have interred 16-year-old Cynthia Dawn Kinney, last seen at a Pawhuska laundromat in 1976, within a barn wall lining the Kansas-Oklahoma border. Her body, to this day, remains undiscovered.

After Rader’s arrest, carefully detailed drawings by him were recovered, images of which were shared with CNN. Pleading guilty to 10 gruesome murders that occurred from the 1970s to the 1990s in Wichita, Kansas, Rader is serving 10 consecutive life sentences at a state prison. He is known as “BTK,” an acronym suggested by Rader himself, standing for “bind, torture, kill.”

Contradictory to this, Rader, in recent interviews from prison, conveyed to Osage County Sheriff Eddie Virden and other local authorities that no other murders were committed by him.

Upon digging into Rader’s case back in January, Sheriff Virden began to study Rader’s writings, his sketches, and any other evidence he could gather from the Wichita police. This led him to hypothesize potential liens to several unsolved cases in the area. Accumulating hundreds of Rader’s sketches obtained after his arrest, Virden and his team, with some expert guidance, now believe a select few color images may have captured additional crimes committed by Rader.

According to Sheriff Virden, a prime location seemingly favorited by Rader was a barn near a silo. As claimed by Rawson, Rader, a consistent sketching enthusiast, honed his craft in a college drafting class.

In hopes that releasing these sketches may assist in their investigation, Virden seeks anyone who may have recognized these barns, their unique features, or any unfamiliar items within them. He stresses the value of even obsolete barns to his inquiry. Reputed for his cat-and-mouse games and clues about his crimes, the authorities firmly believe Rader as a suspect can still reveal much more.

Recently, law enforcement intercepted communications from Rader in prison implying the possibility of concealed items within the old barns. The distressing sketches by Rader, which portray three bound women presumably inside barns, align with Sheriff Virden’s analysis.

Aided by the expertise of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the FBI’s Kansas City field office, Osage County investigators are resolute in their pursuit of answers. They hope for the help of state and federal agencies to process evidence potentially containing DNA that might link the serial killer to the open cases or remove him as a suspect.

Rader’s daughter, Rawson, extending a crucial hand, has joined the team as a volunteer. Despite her disruption with what her father has done, she intends to meet him in prison to discover more. But with Rader’s health deterioration and the aging of the evidence, time may be running out.

Ackunowledging her father’s state in prison, Rawson may have painted a grim picture of how Rader is faring, but she remains staunch in her determination to learn more from him. She believes that even if her father isn’t responsible for all these crimes, this pursuit might yet yield answers concerning the unaccounted missing and deceased in the Midwest.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.


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